Need to recover some files from a possible "dead" drive

Hello, so currently for school i'm using a laptop that school gave to me. It is a Dell Inspiron 14 inch and it had a 5400RPM WD drive 500GB on it. Yesterday by accident i hit where is located the HDD, and i was using normaly the computer but suddenly it stopped working and a blue screen appeared. After i couldn't boot again to windows 10 and the laptop coulnd't recognize the hdd.

I changed the hdd with another i already had, installed windows 10 and started to install everything again.

But i'm wondering if it's possible to recover any of the files i had on the broken hdd? The only thing i care the most are my school and programming files.

It's there any solution to this problem?


Use a Linux livecd and run testdisk on it, if the system can detect the disk you may be able to recover some data off it. But you're better off first using dd-rescue (also on linux) to create an image of the damaged disk and the try to recover files from the image with testdisk to minimise the risk of causing additional damage to the data on the disk.


Thanks for the reply, i will do that once i go to home (im in school right now). Any videos o tutorials for the steps i need to follow? Also, with the livecd i can use dd-rescue too?

Second the idea of making an image backup. Screw up recovery on an image; you still have the original. Screw up the original and you are -- well -- (heh) -- you know.

ddrescue and dd-rescue have identical aims but one is a fork of another. The history over at askubuntu forums tries to straighten it out. The one I like best comes from GNU and is usually called ddrescue, but sometimes it comes out as dd_rescue.
I was flogging smartmontools the other day in a post not far from here; this seems a good place to flog them too. smartctl talks to the SMART interface of the drive. If smartctl -i /dev/sd"x" ("x" some letter addressing the whacked drive) doesn't elicit a response, you have a paperweight that happens to look like a hard drive - so it's a good first step in saving yourself from burning a weekend; you learn there is nothing that can be done early in the game.
I was also flogging System Rescue CD. It's a distro dedicated to rescuing other distros, so if you have to put a distro of some sort on a USB stick, methinks that is the one: it has all the recovery toys @Dexter_Kane mentioned, plus mine, and then some. It's based on Gentoo, but don't worry: it's been denatured so it won't seep through your skin and eat your brain. I promise. I really, really do. ;)


Thanks for the suggestion, i will check out System Rescue CD and give it a try. :)

When I need to recover data for someone, I use a bootable USB variant of Clonezilla and tinker with the advanced settings, to the point at which the drive will finish the whole (or most) of the copy.

After that, I connected the cloned drive (NOT the original) to a Window's Machine, and run a "Deep Scan" using a program called Recuva.

Done this twice, and it worked both times.

If your drive isn't detected by any O.S, heck, doesn't even pull power, you're S.O.F.L, unless you have hundreds of dollars to buy the proper equipment to recover the data, or send it to people who can actually do it, for hundreds of dollars.